Subject Leader: Mrs Ward
Physical, human and environmental geography are taught through topic areas. The children are encouraged to immerse themselves in a variety of learning opportunities to secure their knowledge of places, processes and geographical skills. School visits and focused activities ensure that the children understand through experience and practical application.
At Towngate Primary Academy, we endeavor to ignite children’s curiosity about the world around them through our geography curriculum. We are determined to, alongside geographical knowledge, ensure that there will be a high focus on the development of specific geographical skills through discrete Geography lessons. This ensures that children know more and remember more.
The teaching of geography in our academy is intended to equip pupils to ask questions about the wider world around them, analyse evidence and statistics, think critically, and develop informed judgements so that they know more and remember more.
Geography is delivered as a discrete subject and wherever possible cross curricular links are exploited, particularly links with British values, our values based learning and SMSC, but also STEM subjects. However, teachers make it explicit to the children that they are learning geographical skills and encourage them to think like ‘geographers.’
Our Geography curriculum covers the skills outlined in the National Curriculum through broad, challenging and inspiring themes. Progression is planned in knowledge, skills and vocabulary so that pupils by the end of year 6 have the cultural capital to be successful in Geography in their secondary school. The progression grid carefully builds on prior learning so that children can make sense of the subject. Progression allows for sensible cross curricular links to be made.
Year group medium term plans ensure coverage of both the required knowledge and the subject specific skills. Individual sessions are planned to inspire, engage and challenge pupils in response to their needs. Children are given a wide variety of experiences both in the classroom and out. We encourage children to understand the importance of outdoor learning in order to build a natural curiosity about the world they live in and how it works around them.
Pupils are encouraged to think like geographers and develop their skills such as map and compass reading, collecting and analysing data as evidence and communicating geographical information in a variety of ways.
Classes have a weekly review activity to recap previous learning and vocabulary. This might be posed as a question or rapid recall. During lessons children are exposed to geography specific vocabulary and taught these through repetition and meaningful use. Flash cards are used to recap and reinforce previously taught vocabulary. Opportunities are planned to study various countries around the world and compare them to one another to deepen children’s understanding. Knowledge organisers are available constantly so that children have access to key language and meanings, in order to help them understand and readily apply this knowledge to their written, mathematical and verbal communication skills, in a purposeful context. All new learning and skills is introduced in small steps with specific guided practice and opportunity for children to have a period of supported practice.
Learning walls specific to geography themes are used in lessons to highlight key knowledge and vocabulary. In order to allow children’s understanding to deepen, walls are covered in various map and atlas styles and photographs, so that children are immersed in the subject and the skills. Both fiction and non-fiction texts are used to develop children’s geographical understanding and links to our book-led curriculum. Book are displayed under working walls for children and access and a range of non-fiction texts are available in reading areas.
Our curriculum is enhanced through local walks, which are planned to allow children to make connections between STEM curriculum areas and geography. In order to do this successfully, children will be provided with local maps which will enable them to navigate and apply their geographical skills when accessing the local area.
Geography is assessed through teacher judgement and monitored by the subject leader through learning walks and monitoring opportunities. Progression grids and pupil voice supports teachers in making accurate judgements of what the children know.
Children will retain knowledge that is vital to geography within a real life context and they will have a very good understanding of the world around them and how it has been shaped by physical and human geography. Geography is monitored by the subject leader throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as book scrutinises, lesson observations, staff discussions and pupil interviews. Feedback is given to teachers and leaders use the information to see if the children know more and remember more.
These are some of the comments pupils have made about Geography at Towngate Academy:
"In Geography, we ask and answer questions to learn new things about the World." Year 1
"We get to find out new things and explore new things about people and countries." Year 1
"We have learnt to look at maps and atlases to find places in the World and putting places on maps." Year 2
"Going on visits and walking in the local area make learning in Geography really fun and interesting." Year 2
"We used maps/atlases to explore where the cities are in the World." Year 3
"Geography learning allows us to learn about others and to remember/learn to be tolerant of others, especially from other cultures." Year 3
"We've learnt about capital cities in different countries around the World. We had to persevere to find them on maps and atlases." Year 4
"Geography lessons give us lots of opportunities to explore new people and places." Year 4
"In Geography when we work in pairs or groups we have to cooperate and work together." Year 5
"I have learnt to find places and read maps. I used to find it hard but because I persevered I can now do it." Year 6
"In Geography, we get to explore maps and find out more about the world we live in; we used a compass to complete an orienteering activity around our academy grounds. Some of use even used an ordnance survey map to locate physical and human features in our local area." Year 6